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COMMUNITY AFFAIRS—STANDING COMMITTEE—REFERENCE

Senator Parry, at the request of Senator Heffernan, amended business of the Senate notice of motion no. 1 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—That the following matter be referred to the Community Affairs Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day of 2009:

The impact of the granting of patents in Australia over human and microbial genes and non-coding sequences, proteins, and their derivatives, including those materials in an isolated form, with particular reference to:

 (a) the impact which the granting of patent monopolies over such materials has had, is having, and may have had on:

  (i) the provision and costs of healthcare,

  (ii) the provision of training and accreditation for healthcare professionals,

  (iii) the progress in medical research, and

  (iv) the health and wellbeing of the Australian people;

 (b) identifying measures that would ameliorate any adverse impacts arising from the granting of patents over such materials, including whether the Patents Act 1990 should be amended, in light of any matters identified by the inquiry; and

 (c) whether the Patents Act 1990 should be amended so as to expressly prohibit the grant of patent monopolies over such materials.

Question put and passed.